Two crew members, reportedly working on a lifeboat on the Explorer of the Seas, fell from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship near Victoria last evening, according to News 1130.
The two overboard ship workers were apparently rescued by another vessel, which has not been identified yet.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre stated that “the two were working on a lifeboat on the Explorer of the Seas, which belongs to Royal Caribbean Cruises, when they ended up in the water.”
The rescue centre says it “doesn’t know whether they were crew members or passengers,” which seems strange because passengers obviously do not work on lifeboats.
There is no indication exactly how long the workers were in the water or exactly how they fell from the cruise ship. Royal Caribbean has work-aloft and working overboard procedures which require ship employees to be equipped with harness to prevent them from falling. Typically the work on lifeboats is permitted only after the ship employees obtain work-aloft certificates requiring that certain safety protocols set forth in the Royal Caribbean safety management system (called SQM on Royal Caribbean ship) be followed. Department heads and the staff captain typically must be aware of, approve and supervise the work.
The two workers were reportedly assessed for injuries and then returned to the Explorer of the Seas.
Update: A guest aboard the Explorer of the Seas videotaped the accident. As you can see in the video below, several crew members are in a rescue craft which come alongside the cruise ship as it is underway. It appears that there are lines (cables) to the rescue craft, which cause the craft to turn sideways, dumping two of the crew members in the water.
Hearing “Oscar” broadcast on a cruise ship is never good. Last night on the Explorer of the Seas, two crew members went overboard from a lifeboat. My mom happened to be shooting video of them at the time. Both people were rescued and are ok. https://t.co/dJ5UHRci4C pic.twitter.com/e5HNKg1DhM
— Bob Ippolito (@etrepum) July 20, 2018
Update 2: The popular Crew Center site contains additional information and a video related to the incident.
Photo credit: MarineTraffic AIS of Explorer of the Seas. Video with permission by Leslie Ippolito via Twitter.